All children aged between 5 and 16 are required by law to receive a full-time education, and it is the duty of parents and carers to ensure that they are supported to do so. Children sometimes have to miss school because of illness or if they have medical conditions. Please be assured that, whilst illness happens to us all, we can support and care for children with a slight cough, tiredness and general ‘feeling under the weather’. You are welcome to provide medicine for your child; you will need to complete a consent form, available further down the page or at the school office.
We will always call you if we feel that a child needs to be at home but, usually, everyday school life and friendships will keep a child going and support learning and progress.
Good school attendance gives your child the opportunity for success and to develop skills for life. Your child should attend school every day unless there is an unavoidable cause like an illness. Regular attendance is crucial if children are to reach their full potential, build their social skills and friendships, develop a love of learning and be prepared for their future.
At Homelands, we monitor all children’s attendance very closely each term and meet regularly with our Educational Welfare Officer (EWO), Alison Down, to discuss this. Together we review the attendance of those children who have fallen below 96% and we also look at the attendance of children who are classed as persistent absentees (those with attendance that is below 90%). We then write to families in order to work together to make plans to improve attendance. Any letters sent to parents are standard letters and do sound very formal; and it may well be that you have already spoken to us with regards to the reasons for an absence.
If your child is going to be absent from school, please phone the school, leave a message or send an email, before 8:50am on the day and provide a reason for the absence. An indication of the likely period of absence is requested. Between 9:00 – 10:30am, admin staff will contact the parents/carers by phone and email if they have not heard from the family of an absent child. If no reply is received by the end of the day, the absence will be unauthorised.
Punctuality is very important. A child who arrives late receives an unauthorised absence. Pupils who arrive after 8:50am are considered late and marked appropriately in the register. There are three negative results caused by pupils who constantly arrive late:
-Children can become anxious and find it very difficult to settle into a lesson when they are late
-The disruption to other children in their class as the teacher’s attention is taken from the task at hand.
-The loss of education suffered by the pupil which over a year can add up to a significant proportion of their time at school.
10 or more late marks in the register could result in a fixed penalty notice.
Absence during term time can only be authorised in exceptional circumstances and high levels of absence for children on unauthorised holiday contributes to low overall attendance percentage. We would ask that if at all possible, you avoid taking children out of school during term time. With regards to routine medical or dental appointments, could we please ask that where possible, these are booked either after school or during the school holidays. We do understand that specialist appointments are allocated at specific times and these cannot be altered.
It is essential that you contact the school if your child is unwell and unable to attend school. This is part of our commitment to safeguarding children – we need to know why they are absent and that they are safe. The school office will continue to contact the parents of those children who are not in school, if we haven’t received any reason for their non-attendance. If a child complains of feeling unwell during the school day we will assess their condition and, either continue to monitor them on a regular basis, or call parents for advice on how they would like us to proceed for the remainder of the day (e.g.) come and collect their child or keep them in school. As outlined in our Attendance Policy, we may request medical evidence where a child has been absent for 3 days or more due to illness. Failure to provide evidence when requested may result in the absences being recorded as unauthorised.
If a child has an accident and sustains an injury that needs further treatment during the school day, we will continue to contact parents immediately. It is essential that we have up to date contact numbers in the office for this reason.
All routine (non-emergency) appointments should be made, whenever possible, outside of school hours. If your child has a medical appointment, please inform the school office before the day of the appointment. We may request evidence of appointments.
We would like to thank you for your help with these procedures and for supporting the school in its efforts to raise attendance. If you have any questions concerning attendance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If the medicine is prescribed by a doctor, please complete the 'prescribed' form. If it is medicine that has be bought in a shop or over the counter (e.g. Calpol) then please complete the 'non prescribed' form.
What does your child's attendance figure mean? (Based on 190 academic days)
An attendance percentage of 90% every year over 10 years of school life is equivalent to losing 1 whole year of school.